08/14/2016 08:53 EDT | Updated 08/14/2016 08:59 EDT

Port Coquitlam, B.C. Bear Attack Leaves 10-Year-Old Girl Critically Injured

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Black bear, Ursus americanus, Vancouver Island, Canada

PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. — A 10-year old B.C. girl is in hospital after being attacked by a female black bear in Port Coquitlam, just east of Vancouver.

A spokeswoman for the B.C. Ambulance Service described the child's injuries as critical.

The attack happened late Saturday afternoon on a trail near a river in the city's River Springs neighbourhood.

Conservation inspector Murray Smith said the bear had been with its cub at the time.

He said the mother bear would not leave the heavily populated area and as a result had to be destroyed. It was unclear what happened to the cub.

Smith said conservation officers would try to determine whether the bears ventured into the community because they were attracted by garbage and whether they might have lost their fear of humans through previous contact with people.

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